Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Eight!


Do you see glass objects in our still life? Really? I see bright colours and interesting shapes. I wasn’t interested in discussing transparencies or reflections. These bottles and vases are very familiar shapes and can be understood even as flat silhouettes. That makes them good subjects for a bit of play and risk-taking.

My demonstration sheet may not make much sense so I’ll explain some of the ideas I presented. Wax has been used as a resist material in several places. I played with colour. For instance, in some areas, I started with blue, switched to green while still wet and went back to blue. I dropped pure water into a few painted areas and deliberately created blossoms; like little snowflakes. The strange-looking squiggles and strokes can be added over a dry area of a vase or bottle to vary the surface and suggest form.

In general, I was making suggestions; ways to vary the painting process with the goal of creating a new look. As usual, the students responded with guts and flair.

Watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

I can usually tell who painted each painting at the critique without any trouble. On days like this, with experimentation on the menu, it’s not as easy to assign each painting to it’s artist. Of course, I watched them as they worked but, if I hadn’t, I may not have been able to identify all of them. Success! New looks were achieved by trying new ideas.

Tuesday AM Critique

Tuesday AM Critique

Tuesday PM Critique

Tuesday PM Critique

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6 Responses to “Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Eight!”

  1. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    There styles are very different and I really like this lesson. I have to force myself to experiment but I seem to discover something every time I do. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, always useful.

  2. Carol King Says:

    Hi Barry, I really liked this post. The bright colors and shapes grabbed me immediately and your student’s work reflects your wonderful ability to express art concepts.

    What sort of wax do you use? I once tried white birthday candles to use as a wax resist. It worked! But I didn’t have much control with the candles and of course once you put it down it’s never coming up.

    • Barry Coombs Says:

      Paraffin is probably the best, Carol. I have some white candles that are very hard so they give finer lines but not broad strokes. You’re right about the permanence. It’s there to stay.

  3. Lois Says:

    Nice tutorial, and always, the students did good.
    Thanks for Sharing,

  4. ErinHill Sketching Says:

    I like your thinking. Keep it simple. XXE

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